Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Exploring

When I was sixteen I went to an art college by the sea for two years. I left Norfolk at nineteen and never thought I'd come back to live, let alone come and work in the place where I went to college all those years ago. Strange how things come around isn't it.


Yesterday, as part of work of course, we visited a museum and the library. Along the way I remembered and saw a lot of the places the sixteen year old me rushed along, always it seemed dragging a huge portfolio behind me. We walked through the park where I used to hope a gorgeous boy would notice me as we rushed between sites and lessons. He never did though. Possibly the pink eyeliner I thought looked so cool (later I realised it looked like my eyes were really sore).


When we got to the library there was the most stunning textile elephant on display. Last year in Norwich there was an elephant trail of individually designed beasties. I guess this was inspired by those. It had been made in collboration with a textile artist to record the memories of locals with early alzheimers. We spent quite a while looking and reading each of the patches. For me they worked as they followed no other thread than being about memory of a place.



Here's the beastie themself. Hope they stay there for a while. While we were there we were told about a hope and dreams quilt that is to be made by all the local educational groups. Each square is quite large so I signed our small band up for two. It will then be going on display later in the year and finally ending up at the children's hospital.


At the far end of the park, just before the art college, was this stunning wood sculpture of St George and the Dragon.


Then we crossed the road and saw the shell of what was once teh art college. No longer used and no one knows what to do with it. The other site has gone back to being a school again and so at least is being used.

The art college pretty much sums up the area. It is absolutely full of amazing historical buildings, but there is so much real human need in the area for decent housing and work that these buildings are background to daily realities. I found it strange seeing what the sixteen year old me would never have seen filled with daydreams and excitement. Mind you I don't think I've changed that much because I still got lost in the magic of place names and the past.

Monday, 25 January 2010

Comforting Stuff

When we got back home on Saturday there was a package nestled up by the door waiting for me. I'd been told by my lovely Jo that it was coming from Oz to Cornwall and then on to me at the end of January. Best way to avoid having presents ripped apart by customs when they've been beautifully wrapped. Christmas and birthday all wrapped into one and a book for the Buns too.


Wrapped in fabric was this exciting colourful bundle. I've felt itchy to get making with these all weekend. Problem is my head hasn't settled on what as yet, but I think it will have to be something quilty. Maybe a family snuggle one for downstairs so we can think of our wonderful people who live underneath us.


There were other wonderful gifts too, but I thought I'd share with you this WI cookbook. I love the design on the front cover and as funny as some of the recipes are I think I'll be having a go as they are no fuss straight to it recipes.


I've been lucky with my glass collection of late too. The green dish with the fabric in was popped into my boxes as I left Pick 'n' Mix by Teena and then as part of my birthday gifts she gave me this green vase. It was filled with Green & Blacks choc, but they've all gone now and so the Buns have filled it for now with felt tips.


After browsing Alicia's blog on Friday I fell in love with a scarf she had made. Luckily she gives a link to it, so I've copied down the pattern and hope I'll finish it sometime soon. I've wanted a thinner more bendy scarf for a while now and as this is in 4ply it's perfect for the job. I'm using Debbie Bliss Rialto which is so soft and great to work with.


Before I started the scarf I set to on this sparkly bag on Friday night. The green Rowan tweed I was using for my tank top just wasn't doing it for me. I hated knitting with it, so guessed I'd hate wearing it even more. I took all the wool back to Gilly's shop and changed it for a silvery grey Louisa Harding tweed (which is what it was meant to be knitted in in the first place). I bought the wool below while I was there to make some wristwarmers and somehow they've ended up growing into a lacy drawstring bag.


I'm really enjoying making this as it uses quite a few lace patterns. Nearly finished now and ready to be threaded with a black and cream ribbon, perhaps a few bone buttons, flowers perhaps and then lined. Somewhere for the few decent bits of underwear I actually posess I think. When it's nice stuff isn't it meant to be called lingerie and underwear for the everyday?


Now for the really comforting. I've made some Leek, Barley and Chickpea soup and it's bubbling away now ready for my lunch. Brownies and Lemon Drizzle to be made next for teatime. I find working for someone else two days a week and my midweek crochet group gets rid of any guilt I used to have when I faffed around doing comforting pleasurable stuff. I just need to find the balance to get more Bobo Bun designs made from my head to the reality.

Now I'm off to soup munch and find some suitable poems for a creative writing course for tomorrow.

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Collections

One Little Bun delivered to a party this afternoon and three left to wonder what to do with their day while we waited for her. It was pretty freezing so we headed off to the Castle Museum to see old favourites and things new.

The natural history collection has been updated and displayed in new cases rather than the large room of stuffed animals it once was. New sights caught my eye today.

I loved the collection of eggs. There they float, dreamlike, on invisible threads.



At the bottom eggs are nestled safely in collectors boxes and tins. Stolen from nests many years ago now.


Eldest Bun and I were fascinated by the shapes and sheer shininess of these shells.


This display was really interesting. I was drawn to the small newspaper triangles carefully folded to hold each butterfly collected in empty cigar boxes. Above was a photo spanning roughly 60 decades of the collectors life. A young Edwardian vicars daughter who travelled widely and left her collection and journal to the museum. The butterflies didn't interest me, but the life behind them and her history did.


This collection hit me for it's absolute colourful, carnival fun. It has posters and some of the animals from the travelling zoos of the early 1800's. Apparently it all started from a python bought in a pub.



Then we went for a ride on a Saxon chariot before having cake and drinks and collecting one Little Bun.

Sunday, 17 January 2010

January Joy


Hello at long last. The snow's finally gone and our internet connection has come back. Our garden gnome knows he's more than just a head once more. And me? Well I discovered that yes I can cope without blogging and reading my emails, but it's really not as much fun. So I feel all well and truly back once more too.


A general catch up is needed I think. Happy New Year first to you all. I'm banking on this being a really good year.

Now the fairy cakes above are to be shared around to celebrate my first year of blogging. This happened in my abscence on the 2nd January. I'm looking forward to another year and seeing where it will take me. Overall blogging to me has meant lovely people I've met and chatted to; thoughtful comments left and read with real appreciation; inspiration and entertainment from all the wonderful blogs I visit and a sense of focus for whatever on earth it is I'm really trying to do. Hope that all makes sense.
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As the snow made a big impact on us all I thought I ought to pop a couple of white shots in before we get on with the real colour to warm us up. The hens were not happy at all with the situation. Their poor feet went a shocking shade of yellow. I think it was our version of cold blue feet.


Posh sledging called Tubing at a ski place party for the Buns. I drank hot chocolate and dreamt of the warmth of the fire at the bottom.



Before all of this stuff we had Christmas didn't we. So in my general catch up I want to show you what I made for the Bun's presents. They had a pencil roll each, with their names stamped onto linen and sewn on the outside. I didn't use a pattern so I was left with one extra slightly larger pocket at the end. This has actually turned out to be a design plus as secret things are now stored in here.



For Eldest Bun I crocheted Camilla the Horse (all madly done in the two days I had free after the Pick 'n' Mix Market, before school broke up and inbetween the two days I started my new job). That last week was very tiring to say the least.


Little Bun asked for an Owl to keep Snowy company on her bedstead, so I obliged. My first memory of making was aged six and turning an old floral cord baby dress of mine into an owl, stuffing it with my mums tights and gluing cake tins on for the eyes. Using this 70's memory I thought I'd make a similarly retro one, but without raiding Mr Kiplings cakes.


Then there is the make that is a gift, but not a christmas one. You might remember me cutting this out a fair while ago and then nothing. The absolutely freezing need for tons of blankets and me nailing blankets up at windows to keep out drafts (T's very helpful hint) drove me to quickly finish this for Eldest Bun. Perhaps that hurry can excuse the fact that I sewed the flaps the wrong way round. Ho hum. It still keeps her feet warm whichever way they face.


Then there was the day that school actually opened and I wasn't at work so I popped into the much missed charity shop and found this gorgeous turbanned lady and blue flower brooch.


Without blogging to distract me I curled up by the fire and knitted up these wristwarmers for Little Bun (still as yet to finish the flowery twists for the top).


Then I bought yet more wool (Rowan Felted Tweed) to knit up what was planned to be a jumper in the shop, but turned into becoming a tank top, by the time I got home so I don't have to do the sleeves too.


I also bought some divinely soft Louisa Harding Thistle to knit a short lacy scarf with.


I also made another Big Flower Brooch to bring a shot of sunshine into the wintry gloom and finally set to with a cardigan I've been meaning to make for Eldest Bun for ooohhhh ages now. Halfway there with that so I hope to show you one day soon. Just goes to show what I can actually get on with when I'm not distracted by visiting all of your lovely blogs. Will I finish it all now I'm allowed back again I wonder?

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Oh Deary Me

We've not had any internet for a week and a half now and it looks as if we might be another week yet before we're back on. I've popped onto a friends computer so I can catch up on my world.

I'm missing blogging - I now realise how much I enjoy all of this because I can't do it at the moment.

Thanks for all your lovely comments since I've been away and I'll be back soon and able to visit your blogs too.

Happy New Year too.

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